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Home Office: Staying Organised in a Disorganised Year

Working from home: Woman sitting on couch with laptop on her lap

2020 has been a year of great upheaval for people and businesses across the world. One of the most impactful ways for everyday people is the huge change the pandemic has wrought on the ways in which we go to work.

With people quarantining, isolating, social distancing and all those other corona buzzwords, businesses have increasingly been shifting their offices online and workers have had to deal with a whole new kind of work-life balance!

Challenges of working from home:

Fundamental changes in the way people relate to their workplaces and home-lives was never going to be seamless. Millions of people have been forced to deal with an enforced shift to home-working. This hasn’t been without its challenges, with many finding working from home a stressful and unproductive experience.

We all knowing that being open about challenges we face help us to overcome them, so let’s have a look at some common complaints people experience when working from home:

  • Staying Organised: For many, this is the greatest challenge they face when home-working. Living and working in the same space often means that our wires get crossed, making staying on top of both professional and domestic tasks difficult. Maybe everything doesn’t have its assigned space in the same way that it does in an office, or maybe trying to work in the same room you eat, sleep or relax means things slip away from us. Whatever the reason, the challenge is the same. Staying on top of things is difficult at the best of times, but in 2020 it’s a whole other ball-game.
  • Time Management: We all know how quickly time can get away from us when we’re alone at home. This takes on a whole new dimension when it comes to trying to be productive in your home-space. It’s easy to be distracted by domestic chores or homely comforts, especially when nobody is around you to keep your mind on work. This can mean deadlines missed or long evenings spent trying to scramble to catch-up.
  • Work-life balance: Striking the right balance between professional and personal lives is difficult at the best of times. However, when your work and your life are operating in the same physical space, knowing when to switch off, both literally and metaphorically, can be an extremely difficult task. It’s difficult to know where your professional time ends and your leisure time begins. People often complain about finding themselves checking emails at all hours or engaging in household chores in the middle of the day!
  • Productivity: Professionally, the conditions of home-working can often mean a distinct drop in productivity. The stress associated with the difficulty of managing your work-life balance sometimes means that even when your work is being done, it is not to the quality that you normally produce. This in turn can lead to even more stress, which is never likely to help the situation.

Benefits from home-working:

Not everything is doom and gloom about home-offices. In almost equal measure, millions of people find working from home a revelation that has immeasurably improved both their professional and domestic lives. Let’s have a look at the ways work has changed for the better:

  • Less commuting stress: In Melbourne commuting can often feel like a hellish way to start the day. In fact, studies have found that people are happier with a more comfortable commute than a pay-rise! Commuting stress has been associated with higher levels of blood-pressure, blood-sugar and even depression. Working from home has given people in one of the busiest cities in the world a chance to cut out their commute and have a more relaxed and serene start to their working day.
  • Location Independence: As remote-working becomes more normal in the wake of COVID-19, many people are finding it refreshing to not have their jobs linked to the physical location. As well as opening up exciting opportunities for working for companies in other areas, this trend, which is set to grow, makes it easier to relocate for personal rather than professional reasons. Love that job in Melbourne but hate living in the big and expensive city? You can increasingly have the best of both worlds!
  • Money saving: For business owners, home-working can be something from which there’s no looking back. Necessity has led to the discovery that large overheads, such as renting offices, can be saved on by having teams working remotely!
  • Higher Productivity: For some, home-working has led to increased rather than decreased productivity. By finding themselves in more comfortable environments with more flexible times, many professionals have been able to show their best selves. Fewer meetings, a customizable work space, lower noise-levels and less office politics have all been given as reasons for higher levels of productivity amongst some home-workers!

Tips for working from home:

Working from home obviously presents just as many obstacles as opportunities, with many businesses and individuals wondering how they can reap the benefits of a more flexible and comfortable professional life while avoiding the pitfalls of mixing work and home life. Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you are getting the most out of your work from home experience!

  1. Have boundaries: The biggest and most important thing is to have clearly defined boundaries between the professional and personal. Know what time you clock on and what time you clock off and try not to compromise on these timings. It’s important to be firm with colleagues, friends and family about when you’re at work and when you are not. Try and have dedicated work spaces if you can!
  2. Simplify: If having a separate working space is not feasible, then make sure that you can simplify your life as much as possible. Avoid having clutter around where you work, especially if those objects are going to annoy you, such as unnecessary clothing, children’s toys or pieces of furniture that make you feel cramped. Explore the possibility of decluttering your house by putting unused items, such as winter wardrobes or excess furniture into storage, to get out at a more convenient date.
  3. Take regular breaks: Take short periods off work, maybe by going for a walk or having a nice lunch or cup of coffee. These will allow you to remain more focused and switched on during long-stretches in front of your computer, knowing there is something to look forward to!
  4. Explore cost-saving measures: If you are a business, home working can present a unique opportunity to save on large overheads, either temporarily or permanently. But what to do with all of the furniture, and other larger items from your now disused office space? Explore cost-effective self storage solutions. By keeping your goods in storage, you leave yourself flexible and able to move into a new, furnished office at short notice.

In short, effective home-working has to do with being prepared, organised and finding the right partners to take stress off your shoulders. As such, having a full-service, convenient and affordable storage partner like Boxie24 can make your home-working experience much more relaxed and productive.

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